Cubs' all-time top batters with bases loaded

One of all-too-many areas in which Cubs batters have struggled this season is with the bases loaded.

Through Monday, they were 20 for 85, a .235 average, which ranked 20th overall and 11th among National League teams.

They were 6 for 17, .353, with 3 on base and nobody out, but just 5 for 28, .179, with 1 out and 9 for 40, .225, with 2 out.

They had struck out 21 times, more than one quarter of all at bats.


From the start of 1915, first season for which has play-by-play data, through the end of 2021, the Cubs had batted .279 with the bases loaded.

7 of the Cubs' 20 bases-loaded hits this year have been for extra bases, which is 35 percent. In all previous seasons since 1915, it was 30.3 percent.


Following is a look at the individual leaders among Cubs batters in various categories when they came to the plate with runners on every base.

All numbers are for 1915-2022 except home runs.



The Cubs have made 3,460 bases-loaded hits, produced by 670 different batters.

The runaway leader is Ernie Banks, with 61, 11 more than runnerup Gabby Hartnett.

Here are the top 20, then the next 10:

62: Ernie Banks

51: Gabby Hartnett

50: Ron Santo

41: Phil Cavarretta

40: Mark Grace and Sammy Sosa

39: Charlie Grimm and Ryne Sandberg

37: Don Kessinger

36: Riggs Stephenson


36: Anthony Rizzo

35: Bill Nicholson

34: Billy Williams

32: Glenn Beckert, Billy Herman and Randy Hundley

31: Stan Hack

30: Shawon Dunston

28: Billy Jurges, Andy Pafko, Aramis Ramirez and Hack Wilson

I was surprised to see Kessinger so high on the list and did not expect to see Hundley at all.


SINGLES (2,419 by 597 batters)

Once again, Banks leads the way. The top 10:

41: Banks

32: Kessinger

31: Hartnett and Santo

29: Stephenson

28: Beckert and Grace

27: Cavaretta and Hack

26: Hundley


The singles totals for the others who were among the top 10 in hits:

25: Grimm

24: Sandberg

20: Sosa


DOUBLES (617 by 290 batters)

Gabby Hartnett appeared in his last game as a Cub nearly 82 years ago, on Sept. 29, 1940, making the final out as a pinch hitter in an 0-6 loss at home to the Cardinals.

On Sept. 17, at New York, also pinch hitting, he doubled home 2 of 3 runners on base.

That was his 15th bases-loaded double -- still the most by any Cub.

Ron Santo had 14, the last on June 27, 1973. He came the plate with 3 aboard 8 more times in his final season as a Cub, and made an out in every one of them.

The top 10:

15: Hartnett

14: Santo

10: Grace, Jurges and Rizzo

9: Banks Cavarretta, Grimm and Geovany Soto

8: Herman, Derrek Lee, Sosa and Wilson


Cliff Heathcote, Bill Nicholson and Sandberg each had 7. Willson Contreras needs 1 more to join them. His 6 are tied with Addison Russell and Manny Trillo.

Ten players have 5, including Andy Pafko and Alfonso Soriano, but also Reed Johnson, Al Spangler and Ben Zobrist.


TRIPLES (125 by 102 batters)

When Sammy Sosa tripled home 3 runs against the Giants on Aug. 12, 2001, he broke the team record of 3 bases-clearing triples that had been set by Ray Grimes on July 22, 1922, at home vs. the Dodgers.

Grimes 2 earlier 3-run triples had come on consecutive days, Sept. 8-9, 1921, at home vs. the Reds, then at Pittsburgh.

Augie Galan tied Grimes with 1 in 1935 and 2 in 1937.

Ryne Sandberg joined the club with 1 in 1994 and 2 in 1996.

14 Cubs have hit a pair of bases-loaded triples. Among them are Cavarretta, Grimm, Nicholson, Williams and Wilson.

Others included Gene Baker, Larry Bowa, Chris Coghlan, Jason Heyward and Reed Johnson.

The last Cub to clear the bases and wind up on third was P.J. Higgins, on May 22 at home against the Diamondbacks.


HOME RUNS (344 by 199 batters since 1876)

309 of the grand slams were hit beginning in 1915.

The top 10 since 1876:

12: Banks

8: Nicholson, Sosa and Williams

6: Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Lee and Ramirez

5: Jody Davis, Andy Pafko, Anthony Rizzo, Ryne Sandberg and Ron Santo

Willson Contreras is among 8 who hit 4.


WALKS (996 by 400 batters)

The top 10:

24: Santo

20: Grace

19: Nicholson

18: Hartnett

17: Kessinger

15: Cavarretta and Hack

13: Sosa

11: Kiki Cuyler, Dom Dallessandro, Leon Durham and Hank Leiber


Only 3 others had 10: Herman, Woody English and Rizzo.

Banks had 8, the same as Lee and Soto -- and 1 less than Jody Davis.


STRIKEOUTS (2,260 by 685 batters)

Just 3 Cubs have struck out more than 22 times with the bases full: Sosa, Banks and Santo.

Should Ian Happ fan once more with 3 on base, he will take sole possession of fourth place, which he currently shares.

The top 10, then the next 10:

35: Sosa

31: Banks

29: Santo

22: Dunston, Happ and Rizzo

21: Nicholson

20: Sandberg and Soriano

19: Contreras


18: Davis and Kessinger

17: Bryant and Corey Patterson

16: Baez, Ferguson Jenkins, Henry Rodriguez and Williams

15: Hartnett, Heyward, Rick Monday and Kyle Schwarber


Of the other leaders in hits with the bases loaded, Grimm struck out 10 times -- the same number as David Bote and Patrick Wisdom so far in their careers -- while Grace fanned just 4 times and Stephenson a mere 3.


HIT BY PITCH (102 by 80 batters)

Rizzo is the only Cub hit 4 times with the bases loaded.

When he was plunked at home against the Cardinals on June 12 of last year, he broke the record of 3 that had been established by Bill Killefer nearly a century earlier.

Killefer was hit twice at St. Louis in separate games in 1920, then at home against the Phillies on Sept. 15, 1921.

Bryant, Nicholson and Pafko also were hit 3 times that forced in runs.

Banks, Hartnett and Herman are among 11 players who were hit twice. So are Milton Bradley, Contreras, Cliff Floyd, Happ and pitcher Scott Sanderson.


SACRIFICE FLIES (835 by 347 batters)

The statistic was not tracked separately from sacrifice bunts until 1950, but historians have determined which sacrifices were flies in earlier seasons.

It's not contest among Cubs: Banks hit 9 more than anyone else, and more than double the number of all but 2 others.

The top 10:

29: Banks

20: Sandberg

16: Grace

13: Dunston and Santo

11: Williams

10: Davis and Jerry Morales

9: Dawson, Hundley and Ramirez


SACRIFICE BUNTS (15 -- by 15 players)

That's right. No Cub ever has made more than 1 bunt with the bases loaded that was scored as a sacrifice.

The first was by utility infielder Eddie Mulligan, on July 14, 1916. That was the second of Mulligan's 2 seasons as a Cub, during which he played 58 games and came to the plate 237 times.

The most recent was by pitcher Jon Lester, on April 7, 2018, at Milwaukee. He did it in the top of the ninth inning, with 1 out and the Cubs leading, 4-2.

Lester's most famous bunt, of course, was his 2-strike, 1-out squeeze with a runner on third in the 12th inning that beat the Mariners, 7-6, on July 31, 2016.


Among the 13 others with a bases-loaded bunt are Kessinger (1975), Trillo (1975), Jose Cardenal (1977), Bob Dernier (1986) and Vance Law (1988).

Law's beat the Padres, 1-0, in the 10th inning. It was the third of his career, the first 2 having come while playing for the White Sox.

Law is among 11 players who share the career record of 3. Two of the 10 others are Nellie Fox and Ozzie Smith.

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